Political and environmental activist Kel Kelly has donated the admission price to a house concert in Merville to the family of an ill child.

Folk house concert to benefit 18-month-old Ursula Joy

Fundraiser for the family of 18-month-old Ursula Joy, who is in Vancouver Childrens Hospital

Gardeners Green Folk Club (GGFC) in Merville will be having a special house concert on Saturday, a fundraiser for the family of 18-month-old Ursula Joy, who is in Vancouver Childrens Hospital.

Folk club organizer Summer Joy’s granddaughter, who normally resides on Hornby Island with her family, was recently diagnosed with a brain tumour.  She underwent a long and traumatic surgery, which has left her with serious complications, and she will be in hospital for many months to come. This benefit evening is to help her family with the many expenses they have already incurred, and which will continue to mount up as her treatment and care extends into the future.

The performer for the evening is Mervillite Kel Kelly, who has offered to donate all the ticket money to the cause, and it seems appropriate that the theme of his material for this concert will be heartache. Most of you know Kelly as a political and environmental activist and a man of many talents, but perhaps some of you did not know he is also a singer and songwriter. For the last several years he has spent many hours locked away in his small music room, turning his head and heart to music. Yes, we will have plenty of tissues at the ready, but Kelly is quick to point out that there will be lots of uplifting material as well.

Here is what he says about his collection of songs about heart ache:

“These songs have been a lifetime in the making, and they decided it’s time to come out now. Heart aches focuses on all the things, bitter and sweet, painful and joyful, that bring a pounding to the heart.  I’ve realized that the heart responds to melancholy, longing and loss with the same intensity that it responds to ecstasy, fulfillment and victory. It’s all part of the package and it all needs to be expressed and honoured.

“My songs range from rocking laments to tender poems about grandchildren. They move from time spent in the monastery of the Dalai Lama, to time spent among the Celtic standing stones of Brittany.  I like to share the stories that accompany the songs. I’m always curious about the origins of songs and poems, and I think other people are too. The stories help the song to land in the heart.

“I’m honoured to be able to share these songs as a community prayer for baby Ursula and her family. I hope people will come with their hearts and wallets open. Together we can at least help ease the financial burden that this young family is facing.”

Besides providing a night of excellent musical entertainment, GGFC has come up with some really fun ways of raising more money during the evening. GGFC will be holding a  raffle, with more and better prizes than usual, and enough of them so that many raffle ticket buyers can go home with a nice reward.  GGFC will also hold a short auction of a few fabulous and unique items, including a tea party (in the spring) in Kelly’s tree house, which is an amazing 70 feet up in a tree in his garden, affording a spectacular view. Needless to say, this auction item is not for the fainthearted.

Also, well-known west coast painter Mark Hobson is donating two prints, so here is a chance to own some very fine and valuable art.

As usual, there will be a large spread of desserts and fingerfood served along with tea and coffee during the break, all included in the ticket price of $20. Tickets must be reserved, which you can do by calling 250-337-5337. If anyone who can’t make it to the concert would like to donate any amount, no matter how small, to Ursula’s family, you can do so by going to any Coastal Community Credit Union branch and donating to the Ursula Joy Trust Fund.

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